Jakim awaits apex court’s decision on ‘bin Abdullah’ ruling

Source: FMT News 

PUTRAJAYA: Jakim, like the national registration department (NRD), will continue with its current practice on the genealogy of illegitimate Muslim children until the Federal Court decides on the matter, says its director-general Othman Mustapha.

National Registration Department director-general Datuk Yazid Ramli (left) said children conceived out of wedlock would not get to bear their father’s name, despite the Court of Appeal’s landmark decision. — Bernama pic

In a statement here today, the Jakim DG advised Muslims in the country to remain calm about the decision of the Court of Appeal on Thursday that any child conceived out-of-wedlock could use the name of the man who admits to be the father.

“Hopefully, the NRD’s efforts through the Attorney-General’s Chambers to bring the case to the Federal Court goes smoothly,” he said.

Yesterday, NRD director-general Mohd Yazid Ramli was reported as saying any change to the current practice would only be considered after the decision by the Federal Court.

He said the present practice by the department was in line with the decision of the National Fatwa Council. Read more

Let God deal with LGBT, Jakim told

Source: FMT News

Siti Kasim - Pic from FMT News

Siti Kasim – Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights activist Siti Kasim has criticised Jakim for suggesting a person’s sexual orientation can be changed with extensive religious training. She said it was trying to play God.

“I don’t understand these people,” she told FMT. “They should keep their religious or moral beliefs to themselves and just shut up. If people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community are wrong, then let God punish them.”

Jakim recently released a three-minute video comparing sexual orientation with horse riding, saying that when a person realises he has a “different” sexual orientation and wishes to make a change, he should be given extensive training and guidance.

Siti said such an assumption was not backed by scientific evidence and therefore nonsensical. Read more

Reclaiming halal — Hew Wai Weng

Source: New Mandala

Hew Wai Weng takes a look at what constitutes halal in contemporary Malaysia — a certification that today is less about faith and more about the commercialisation of Islam.    


PHOTO HAGENS WORLD ON FLICKR, taken from New Mandala

In recent years, halal controversies on everything from meatballs to chocolates, and from hot dogs to cakes, have made headlines in Malaysia. A few months ago, it was reported that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) had suggested that a pretzel chain, Auntie Anne’s, should rename its ‘pretzel dog’ to ‘pretzel sausage’ to get a halal certification.

According to the Jakim-issued Manual Procedure for Malaysia Halal Certification 2014, halal means more than no pork and no alcohol. One of Jakim’s many guidelines is that halal certification could be denied for food products that have in their names ‘confusing’ terms such as ‘ham’, ‘rum’, ‘beer’, ‘bacon’, ‘char siew’ and ‘bak kut teh’.

In 2014, I joined a seminar about halal certification in Kuala Lumpur. At the seminar, an ustaz (religious teacher) representing Jakim even recommended that popular Indonesian dishes such as bakmi (meat noodle) and bakso (meat ball) should be renamed in order to be certified halal, because according to him, ‘bak’ (a hokkien term) implies pork (even though it literally means meat), and therefore could be confusing to Muslim consumers. In fact, such foods have been always considered halal and consumed by many Indonesian Muslims. Read more

Street protests open doors to liberalism, Muslims warned ahead of Bersih 5

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Federal Islamic authorities cautioned Muslims today against street protests that it said would invite liberalism, just a week before the Bersih 5 rally which will be held on November 19.

The Friday sermon prepared by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) expressed its concern that more Muslims are joining street protests driven by discontent, allegedly spurred by unnamed parties and uncensored social media statements.

“Yes, whether we realise or not, therein lies an idea of the liberal democracy ideology that is concealing itself behind the struggle for democracy and fundamental rights,” said the sermon distributed to mosques nationwide.

“The truth is, they wish to install certain individuals who are ready to follow their orders and spread this ideology to make this society more open to accept liberal values.”

Jakim said Islam endorses mass gatherings as part of its worship as a sign of protest against blasphemy and ignorance, but such events must be done with civility. Read more

Consultative process must be established for Islamic law enactments — G25

Source: The Malay Mail Online

AUGUST 6 — G25 would like to refer to the letter from the Assistant Director, Jakim published in your column on 1 August in which he accused the liberals for not respecting the authority of Islamic scholars. The writer quoted from well-known Muslim scholars, old and new, to explain the personal sins in Islam and proceeded to criticise G25 for allegedly not understanding the concept of sins in Islam.

The most important point for readers to note is that nowhere in Jakim’s long letter was the word constitution mentioned, giving us the impression that the writer has probably forgotten or is not aware that Malaysia is a constitutional democracy, with Islam as the official religion. It was designed with checks and balances to ensure that no Federal or state authority has absolute authority in governing the country. Any law passed by parliament or any state legislature that contravenes the constitutional rights of citizens can be challenged in court and declared invalid.

The constitution, as the supreme law of the country, has spelt out the powers of state religious authorities in the protection, promotion and development of Islam, while ensuring that in exercising their powers, the states cannot go beyond their jurisdiction on matters of criminal justice, as crimes are a Federal responsibility. Religious scholars and institutions that are responsible for the administration of Islam must understand that there are limits in legislating on the personal sins of Muslims, because punishments that are not authorised under the constitution are illegal. Read more

Excessive film censorship will make Malaysians narrow-minded, deputy minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

dewan_rakyat_signpost_2015_-_parliament_reportKUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Too much censorship of movies involving sensitivities on religion, violence and sex would make Malaysians a narrow-minded lot, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today.

Nur Jazlan said censorship is only required for scenes that violate certain guidelines set by the Film Censorship Board (LPF) and the religious authorities here.

“The presence of the LPF was meant to educate viewers so that they can make the best choice (in watching film).

“If we want to restrict all content made by film producers, it will not be good education or culture for viewers in our country. We wanted to provide more space to the viewers to open up their minds,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

Jakim critic Tawfik Ismail faces sedition probe

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Tawfik Ismail, son of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, says recently Jakim is unconstitutional. He is now being investigated for sedition over the remark. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 24, 2015.

Police are investigating Tawfik Ismail, the son of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, for sedition over his remarks that the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) should be abolished.

They initiated the probe after a police report was lodged in Shah Alam against Tawfik for the comments made in a The Malaysian Insider article on the Islamic agency, which is under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.

Tawfik, who is also a member of G25, the group of retired Malay top civil servants, is being investigated under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948, which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a maximum jail term of three years, or both, for first-time offenders.

Police yesterday recorded statements from a news editor and a reporter at The Malaysian Insider to assist in the investigations. Read more

Hudud should apply to all Malaysians, Jakim paper suggests

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Hudud Cartoon by Reggie Lee

Hudud Cartoon by Reggie Lee

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — The Federal Constitution does not bar the incorporation of hudud into the Penal Code and subsequent application to all Malaysians, federal religious authorities argued in a working paper to implement the Islamic penal law.

In the document sighted by The Malay Mail Online, the paper by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), stated it was vital for all local laws to be harmonised with Islamic principles.

The paper cited as evidence Article 3(1) in the Constitution that states Islam as the religion of the federation and the Oath of office of Yang di-Pertuan Agong requiring the ruler to “protect the religion of Islam”. Read more